Country Roads of Scotland

Britain & Ireland

Country Roads

Country Roads of Scotland (Summer 2019)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: Scotland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

From the great capital of Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands and Skye, you'll travel through 8,000 years of history and become immersed in Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Edinburgh.

    Welcome to Scotland - land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner with wine. On select departures, you will also attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

  2. Day 2

    Edinburgh, The Capital of Culture.

    Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then wander the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Georgian facades. In the Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s Crown Jewels, the Honours of Scotland. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is at leisure; why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery?

  3. Day 3

    To St. Andrews and the Highland Capital of Inverness.

    Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and journey to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course, home of golf since its creation in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed? Alternately, wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton meeting her Prince Charming began. Cross the Tay and journey to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Continue via Blair Atholl and pass the Grampian Mountains on the way to the sparkling Spey Valley. Stop at Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, one of the only occupied castles in Scotland, inhabited by the same family since the 16th century. As guests of the castle you will be treated to an authentic Farm-to-Table experience, in the tradition of a Scottish Tea and Scones. Continue to Inverness, where your luxury hotel is set within four acres of manicured grounds offering the very best in Highland hospitality.

  4. Day 4

    Culloden, Loch Ness and on to Thurso.

    See Culloden Moor in the morning, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Centre before continuing along the shores of Loch Ness. Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary monster! Next, follow the rugged coast north to the fishing port of Wick. Pause at the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of this national drink.

  5. Day 5

    A Day in the Orkney Islands.

    Start the day by driving to the most northern point of the British mainland, John O’Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands where the countryside is breathtakingly majestic and the tranquility supports a quieter pace of life. Here the hardy locals say they live ‘below the wind and above the water.’ Your Local Expert accompanies you as you visit the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners during World War II. Return to your Thurso hotel for dinner.

  6. Day 6

    Over the Sea to Skye.

    Travel through stunning, pristine landscapes along the northern coast with its white sandy beaches, and further inland to misty valleys and glens, lochs and rushing waters. Then it’s ‘Over the Sea to Skye,’ the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. On the way to Broadford, hear romantic tales of how young Flora MacDonald helped rescue Bonnie Prince Charlie to see the dramatic Cuillin Hills.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Through the Scottish Highlands to Glencoe.

    Explore this wild and beautiful island on your own, before crossing to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Stop for a photo at remote Eilean Donan Castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the WWII Commando Memorial where there is a fine view of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. You'll enjoy more spectacular scenery en route to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. In the evening, enjoy market-fresh Scottish ingredients and wine as you get together with your newfound friends for a sumptuous Celebration Dinner. Don't be surprised if, by the end of the evening, you're 'Toasting to the Lassies' or singing 'Auld Lang Syne'.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Along the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond to Glasgow.

    Spend time around peaceful Loch Lomond, ‘Queen of Scottish Lochs’ according to Sir Walter Scott and the largest in Great Britain. Perhaps experience the beauty and tranquillity of the loch with an optional cruise before continuing to Glasgow? An orientation drive through the city will show you the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo’s Cathedral. Then the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore as you wish.

  9. Day 9

    Depart Glasgow.

    Your travels come to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow airport at 07:00 and 09:00.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Orkney Isles: Across the windswept Orkney Islands lie relics spanning human history, from pagan stone circles to reminders of wartime tragedy. Join a Local Expert for a fascinating journey into its history.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Edinburgh: Walk with a Local Expert within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
  • Edinburgh: Your Local Expert reveals why this is Scotland's City of Culture. Explore the city as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
  • St. Andrews: Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from 'Chariots of Fire' was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
  • Pitlochry: Visit this town, famous for its salmon leap.
  • Inverness: See the River Ness, Inverness Castle and take in the scenery around you as you hear about the beauty and history behind Inverness.
  • Highlands: At the exciting Culloden Visitor Centre, discover why the Battle of Culloden lasted only an hour yet changed the Highland way of life forever.
  • Loch Ness: Drive along the shores in search of the legendary monster.
  • John O'Groats: Visit Britain’s most northerly, yet tiny, mainland village.
  • Isle of Skye: See the dramatic Cuillin Hills and stay in pretty Broadford.
  • Eilean Donan: Stop for a photo of this gorgeous castle.
  • Fort William: Enjoy an excellent view of Ben Nevis from the World War II Commando Memorial.
  • Glencoe: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this Highland village on Loch Leven.
  • Loch Lomond: Enjoy time to explore the beautiful 'Queen of Scottish Lochs'.
  • Glasgow: During your orientation with your Travel Director, drive past the civic buildings and St. Mungo’s Cathedral.
  • Scenic Drives: Scottish countryside is some of the most majestic in the world. Admire the beauty of the Grampian Mountains, the North West Highlands, Skye, the Valley of Glencoe and Loch Lomond.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Ballindalloch: Visit one of the few remaining inhabited castle's of Scotland and enjoy Farm-to-Table cuisine with Scottish Tea and Scones.
  • Wick: Whisky's are known for their distinctive flavours, often bursting with the power and subtlety of the sea. Share a wee dram with a master distiller who imparts the age-old techniques of whisky production.
  • Glencoe: Your adventure culminates with a wonderful Celebration Dinner. Enjoy the best Highland hospitality and market-fresh ingredients accompanied by delicious wine or beer.
  • Dining Summery: 8 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 4 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Highland Hotels: Hotels in the Highlands area are mainly traditional and much simpler in style, typical of the region.
  • Inverness: Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it's impeccable hospitality.
  • Thurso: Centrally located in the heart of Thurso, the Peatland Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome from staff.
  • Isle of Skye: Boasting an incredible location by Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is set at the base of outstanding mountains.
  • Ballachulish: Ballachulish Hotel offers spectacular views over the bay of Oban and the islands of the west coast of Scotland. This hotel is set in some outstanding scenery which can be used for picturesque walks.
  • Ballachulish: The Isles of Glencoe Hotel & Leisure Centre is a modern hotel located at the foot of Glencoe on the side of a peninsula.
  • Glasgow: Holiday Inn Glasgow - City Centre Theatreland is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Glasgow, just a few minutes from the Royal Concert Hall. It offers bright, elegant rooms.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Scottish Dinner & Cabaret

Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!

Adult Price: GBP 60.00

Code: EDI0002

Royal Yacht Britannia

This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

Adult Price: GBP 23.00

Code: EDI0003

Rosslyn Chapel

Enjoy a drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll discover the inside story about Rosslyn Chapel, famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and more recently: 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Adult Price: GBP 18.00

Code: EDI0004

Castle Of Mey

Visit the much loved holiday home where the late Queen Mother spent many happy summers for nearly 50 years. Spectacularly set on the Caithness Coast with views across the Pentland Firth, Britain's most northerly castle is very much a family home and offers a rare glimpse into the relaxed Royal lifestyle away from the public eye. Your tour takes in the Queen Mother's bedroom, library, drawing room, Princess Margaret's room and kitchens. Of special interest are the greenhouses and the old fashioned shrub roses and climbers of the Shell Garden, where she loved to sit in the afternoon with her dogs.

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: THU0001

An Evening of Scots-Gaelic Culture

A rare opportunity to enjoy an introduction to the Gaelic culture that is so unique to the Highlands. Stories, song, music and Highland history await you in the warm atmosphere of a centuries-old Highland hostelry

Adult Price: GBP 25.00

Code: THU0002

Isle Of Skye Tour

A wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula with a local expert. Hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean island, steeped in myth and legend. While touring the 'Isle of Mist' see the Old Man of Storr, the red and black Cuillin Mountains and picturesque Portree, the largest town on the Island. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Adult Price: GBP 15.00

Code: SKY0001

Glasgow Dinner

In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation. With its elegant and chic atmosphere, this restaurant is very much at the forefront. In the hub of Glasgow's vibrant cosmopolitan capital, enjoy an evening of Scottish fayre and experience the unique atmosphere of the city at night. This meal may be offered as a lunch.

Adult Price: GBP 37.00

Code: GLA0001

Lake Cruise

Enjoy a relaxing cruise around picturesque Loch Lomond - the largest stretch of inland water to be found in the British Isles. Settle with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the flawless natural beauty, while all the history and legend is brought to life by on-board commentary.

Adult Price: GBP 15.00

Code: LOC0001

Accommodation

 

Malmaison Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Historic) - Scotland

The boutique Malmaison Hotel Edinburgh resides within a former Seaman's Mission in the heart of Edinburgh's trendy Shore area. The hotel describes its rooms as "super-slinky," featuring plush, funky décor and furnishings. Located just 15 minutes from the heart of Edinburgh you'll be able to make the most of your free time in the happening capital of Scotland.

Kingsmills Hotel

Inverness (Historic) - Scotland

Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it's impeccable hospitality.

The Pentland Hotel

Thurso (Traditional) - Scotland

Centrally located in the heart of Thurso, the Peatland Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome from staff.

The Dunollie Hotel, Broadford, Isle of Skye.

Broadford (Traditional) - Scotland

Boasting an incredible location by Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is set at the base of outstanding mountains.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
11428 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 12 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was good considering it was outside the tourist season. It was obvious once we reached places they were 'remote' and certainly was country roads coming into the winter.

    Service: Would use them again but the fact that the accommodation would not be the same standard as their European tours should have been stated when the hotels were first named not just before the trip

  • 04 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Itinerary covered many miles and provided opportunity to see Scotland's spectacular scenery.

    Service: Our Tour Guide (Mike Doughty) was the best ever and our Driver (Steve) safely transported us and supported Mike in attending to every need of those on our Country Roads of Scotland tour.

  • 04 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Awesome! It as all and more that I could have asked for except for one hotel room in Broadford which was smaller than a dorm room.

    Service: Everything

  • 30 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Packed a lot into 8 days but the itinerary was paced well. Great to see smaller towns, the highlands. Orkney was a highlight. Autumn was a lovely time to go. Even the rain and mist on some days added to the atmosphere.

    Service: Excellent communication throughout tour. At every point we knew what to expect. Guide was outstanding- very knowledgeable and a gift for communicating in a way that brought history to life.

  • 28 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was amazing how much countryside we covered!

    Service: The Country Roads of Scotland tour was an amazing experience with the most fabulous scenery! The tour was great as I was travelling on my own and everything was covered and looked after so I didn't need to worry about a thing! The very knowledgeable, humorous and accommodating tour guide Michael made the experience perfect

  • 25 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We loved the places that we visited and wanted more. A sure sign that we enjoyed our trip.

    Service: Any problems we had were quickly resolved. We needed 2 beds instead of one and Michael took care of this for us. We were encouraged to let Michael know if there was anything he could do for us. While we want to go back and thoroughly explore some more, we greatly appreciated Michael's local knowledge.

  • 25 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Everywhere we went was amazing and just so simply beautiful.

    Service: Do not change a thing. We had the time of our lives and would never been able to see all what we did if we were to do it on our own. We have just returned to Australia on Monday the 22nd of Oct and would go back to Scotland in an instant if it was not on the other side of the world.

  • 23 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good points of interest That's all

    Service: Good guide

  • 22 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: As I said, a little more time to see the sights and explore some of the lovely villages.

    Service: Your driver and tour director were excellent and enjoyable. The sights were outstanding and the route taken certainly was covering the area greatly. The only thing was we were so short on time for lunch and breaks, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour. We visited little places that it would have been nice to have an extra time. Perhaps if there was extra day added in to give more flexibility some of the time it would have been appreciated. The Gaelic night was really outstanding.

  • 21 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Loved the Highlands and Islands.

    Service: Loved the room on the bus.

  • 21 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good information and organisation. Great scenery. Enjoyed Orkneys.

    Service: Good & timely information, organisation & service. Would recommend & travel again.

  • 17 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw pretty much what we wanted to see. The Royal Yacht Britannia was listed as an optional experience for twice the price it cost to go on our own and it was only three blocks from the hotel.

    Service: We received everything we needed for the tour.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.